Interview with Niccolo Cosme

I have known Niccolo as a great photographer... of the stars.

I became a fan of his Project Headshot Clinic wherein a lot of personalities gather to promote different cause.

As I keep on meeting him in so many events I discovered that he was also a vegetarian.

I know from the start that he really has this great vision...

Here's a little chitchat with him, just very basic.

What made you vegetarian? 

I have only been a vegetarian (lacto-ovo) for a year, I started in August of 2014 while I was in the US. I really wanted to become a vegetarian for a long time for various reasons; Animal rights, environmental sustainability, overall health and spirituality. 

How long have you been vegetarian/vegan?

Before turning full lacto-ovo vegetarian I was a Pescatarian for about 6 years. I did that as my stepping stone towards being vegetarian but took some time for me to fully shift for a lot of personal reasons. 

What changes did you notice in you when you became veg?

I definitely felt lighter in so many levels! I lost the guilt that I've been feeling for so long eating dead animals too. I noticed that I am more mindful about what I buy, what i cook, what I eat... I think being mindful is a very important thing.

Is it difficult to be veg? what makes it difficult?

I'd say it's not that difficult because I cook my own food most of the time, but does get a little rough when I travel, most especially in the provinces or out of town.

What is the usual reaction of people who just knew you’re veg?

The usual reaction I get from people is "why? how long? I think that's sad, I think that's really difficult"

Where do you get your food? 

I go to regular groceries and sometimes at farmers market when I can. We also have our own produce in our rest house in Tagaytay, I love going up there during weekends to "harvest" and I really like it when I say that word!

There are also several places in Manila where I get mock meat, one place that I really love going to is Quan Yin Chai in Binondo.

Get to know more about Niccolo Cosme via his website

Interview with Bianca Valerio

How long have you been vegetarian/vegan? why did you become vegetarian?
I’ve been pesco since March 13,2007. It all started when my boyfriend, Mikee Carrion decided he’d give up meat for Lent. Now since eating was and still is, our thing, I was pissed! After a few days, I decided, fine, I’ll try it out too. Ironically, I’ve never turned back since then while he eventually returned to being a meat-eater.

Is it difficult to be veg? what makes it difficult?
Not at all! It’s like quitting smoking, it’s all in the mind. It’s all or nothing. You just have to want it for yourself. I think the only thing that makes it difficult is that it’s not readily available (veg meat and products) in the market. Then if it is, it’s really expensive. Being VEG in our country is actually a luxury-lifestyle. Strange since veggies are actually way cheaper than meat. That’s why I loved it when I was living in LA last year, studying at Make-Up Designory. Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and pretty much all groceries have a big veggie meat section of everything under the sun! Although more expensive, it was worth every cent!

What changes did you notice in you when you became veg?
Well, more people find me boring, haha! The thing is, being Pesco, is not really the issue. It’s not about eating meat for most people as they’ve gotten used to me being that way, especially since they know I’m a model. The thing is, I am OBSSESSED with healthy food and healthy living!

I was a chain smoker, junk-eating, bad habit type of person years ago. I gave up vices before I became veg but ultimately became engrossed in healthy living when I turned pesco. I never go to work without making baon my own food. They’re all either steamed, grilled, organic and so on. I portion everything strictly and really watch everything I eat. It’s not a punishment: I honestly enjoy it tremendously! Every healthy meal and snack to me is an ecstatic experience!

I never thought I’d become such a person. But ultimately, I love who I am now and the healthy lifestyle I’m living. I really do feel amazing inside and out because I know I’m really taking care of myself as a whole.

Since then, my skin has never been so healthy-looking. People think that going veg is a way to a sexier body. Hell no! If you’re constatantly eating sugars, bad carbs and fried at that, then you’re not a healthy veg. You’re just veg, in my opinion. There’s a thin line.

I’ve also been more energetic and I just feel lighter in general, physically and mentally.

What is the usual reaction of people who just knew you’re veg?
- Like I said, people always question why but they understand because of my profession. By my profession is just one tiny reason why I love eating healthy. I just love life and intend to live a long, prosperous one in health, love and laughter. So healthy eating by going pesco is a commitment I have to myself :-)
My best friends in the industry, Isabel Roces (lacto-ovo), Raya Mananquil (vegan) and Val de los Santos (pesco) are so happy for me because now we never have problems of deciding where to eat just to be considerate to the so-called meat-eater. Hunting for great veg foods is such a babaw joy!

Where do you get your food?
Healthy Options, Salcedo Market, Bodhi and Shopwise

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